NASA Selects Ball Aerospace, Raytheon for NOAA Atmospheric Composition Instrument Study

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — On behalf of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NASA has selected two firms for the Geostationary Extended Observations (GeoXO) Atmospheric Composition (ACX) instrument Phase A Study. These firms will provide services to help meet the objectives of NOAA’s GeoXO program.

Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. of Boulder, Colorado, and Raytheon Intelligence & Space of El Segundo, California will both receive twenty-month firm-fixed-price contracts for approximately $5 million. The work will be performed at the contractors’ facilities.

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NASA Selects Investigation Teams to Join Geospace Dynamics Mission

WASHINGTON, April 26, 2022 (NASA PR) — NASA has selected three investigation teams to join the agency’s Geospace Dynamics Constellation (GDC) mission science team in studying Earth’s upper atmosphere, as well as five additional investigations that will be under consideration for inclusion in the mission.

GDC is a coordinated group of satellites that will provide the first direct global measurements of the dynamic and complex region of space enveloping Earth – known as the ionosphere and thermosphere (I-T) region. The constellation’s ability to simultaneously study processes operating across a range of temporal and spatial scales will provide an unprecedented level of understanding of this region. GDC will fundamentally advance scientists’ understanding of this interface to Earth’s space environment much like early weather satellites did for global weather systems. The three GDC investigations selected for flight have a combined budget of $149 million to design and deliver their instruments to the mission.

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NASA Extends Exploration for 8 Planetary Science Missions

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — Following a thorough evaluation, NASA has extended the planetary science missions of eight of its spacecraft due to their scientific productivity and potential to deepen our knowledge and understanding of the solar system and beyond.

The missions – Mars Odyssey, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, MAVEN, Mars Science Laboratory (Curiosity rover), InSight lander, Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, OSIRIS-REx, and New Horizons – have been selected for continuation, assuming their spacecraft remain healthy. Most of the missions will be extended for three years; however, OSIRIS-REx will be continued for nine years in order to reach a new destination, and InSight will be continued until the end of 2022, unless the spacecraft’s electrical power allows for longer operations.

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Webb’s Coldest Instrument Reaches Operating Temperature

MIRI, the mid-infrared camera and spectrograph (left), was installed in the science payload module of the James Webb Space Telescope (right) on 29 April 2013 at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. (Credit: NASA/Chris Gunn)

PARIS (ESA PR) — With help from a cryocooler, Webb’s Mid-Infrared Instrument has dropped down to just a few degrees above the lowest temperature matter can reach and is ready for calibration.

The James Webb Space Telescope will see the first galaxies to form after the Big Bang, but to do that its instruments first need to get cold – really cold. On 7 April, Webb’s Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) – a joint development by ESA and NASA – reached its final operating temperature below 7 kelvins (minus 266 degrees Celsius).

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UAE and US Mars Missions to Collaborate on Science Data Analysis

An artist’s impression of the United Arab Emirates’ Hope spacecraft in orbit around Mars, where it will arrive in February 2021 after launching in July from Japan. (Credit: MBRSC)

DUBAI, April 12, 2022 (UAE Government Media Office) — The Emirates Mars Mission, the first interplanetary exploration undertaken by an Arab nation, has finalised a science data analysis collaboration initiative with NASA’s MAVEN Mars Mission, which will pave the way towards greater scientific collaboration and data exchange between the two missions.

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NASA to Participate in Space Symposium, Broadcast Select Panels

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson and Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy visited the agency’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans on Dec. 8, 2021 for tours and briefings on Michoud’s role in the Artemis program and other capabilities that enrich many facets of the nation’s space exploration endeavors. (Credits: NASA/Michael DeMocker)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy and Associate Administrator Bob Cabana are among the agency’s speakers at the Space Foundation’s 37th Space Symposium from Wednesday, April 5 to Thursday, April 7 in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Topics highlighted by NASA participants throughout the event include the agency’s Moon to Mars exploration approach including Artemis, technology, science, commercial partnerships, and more. A full agenda for the symposium is available online.

The agency will stream the following panels on NASA TV, the NASA app, and the agency’s website:

Tuesday, April 5

  • 12:25 p.m. EDT – Plenary session remarks from Melroy about NASA’s Moon to Mars strategy and updated current milestones
  • 1:15 p.m.: Artemis and Industry: Building the Space Economy. Panelists include:
    • Kenneth Bowersox, deputy associate administrator for Space Operations at NASA Headquarters in Washington
    • Jim Free, associate administrator for Exploration Systems Development at NASA Headquarters
    • James Reuter, associate administrator for Space Technology Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters
    • Dr. Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters

Wednesday, April 6

Members of the media registered for the symposium can attend “Small Satellites, Big Missions: Pathfinding CubeSats Exploring the Moon and Beyond,” a news conference featuring NASA leaders, at 6 p.m. EDT. The conference will take place in Media Room A of the event’s media center. To register for the symposium, media must email the Space Foundation at media@spacefoundation.org.

Participants in the news conference include:

  • NASA Associate Administrator Cabana
  • Elwood Agasid, deputy program manager for Small Spacecraft Technology at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, California, and Space Technology Hall of Fame inductee
  • Andres Martinez, program executive for small spacecraft in NASA’s Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate at the agency’s headquarters
  • Bradley Cheetham, CEO, Advanced Space in Westminster, Colorado
  • Joe Shoer, engineer, Lockheed Martin, Denver

For more information about NASA, visit:

https://www.nasa.gov/

NASA Finds 2022 Arctic Winter Sea Ice 10th-Lowest on Record

This image visualizes wintertime sea ice change in the Arctic using data provided by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Global Change Observation Mission 1st-Water “SHIZUKU” satellite, which is part of a NASA-led partnership to operate several Earth-observing satellites. The full video can be accessed at https://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/4985. (Credit: NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio)

By Roberto Molar Candanosa
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

GREENBELT, Md. — Arctic sea ice appeared to have hit its annual maximum extent on Feb. 25 after growing through the fall and winter. This year’s wintertime extent is the 10th-lowest in the satellite record maintained by the National Snow and Ice Data Center, one of NASA’s Distributed Active Archive Centers.

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NASA’s Webb Reaches Alignment Milestone, Optics Working Successfully

While the purpose of this image was to focus on the bright star at the center for alignment evaluation, Webb’s optics and NIRCam are so sensitive that the galaxies and stars seen in the background show up. At this stage of Webb’s mirror alignment, known as “fine phasing,” each of the primary mirror segments have been adjusted to produce one unified image of the same star using only the NIRCam instrument. This image of the star, which is called 2MASS J17554042+6551277, uses a red filter to optimize visual contrast. (Credits: NASA/STScI)

GREENBELT, Md. (NASA PR) — Following the completion of critical mirror alignment steps, NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope team expects that Webb’s optical performance will be able to meet or exceed the science goals the observatory was built to achieve.

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NASA’s Robotic OSAM-1 Mission Completes its Critical Design Review

Lights-out grapple testing of OSAM-1’s Robotic Servicing Arm (left) in the Robotic Operations Center at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. The partial model of a client satellite (right) sits on top of a hexapod robot, which helps to simulate zero-gravity movement. (Credits: NASA)

GREENBELT, Md. (NASA PR) — NASA’s On-orbit Servicing, Assembly, and Manufacturing 1 (OSAM-1), a mission that will be the first to robotically refuel a satellite not designed to be serviced, and will also demonstrate assembly and manufacturing technologies and capabilities, has passed its mission critical design review (CDR). This is an important milestone that paves the way for the construction of the spacecraft, payloads, and ground system.

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NASA Begins Assembly of Europa Clipper Spacecraft

Clockwise from left: the propulsion module for NASA’s Europa Clipper, the ultraviolet spectrograph (called Europa-UVS), the high-gain antenna, and an illustration of the spacecraft. (Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Johns Hopkins APL)

Science instruments and other hardware for the spacecraft will come together in the mission’s final phase before a launch to Jupiter’s icy moon Europa in 2024.

PASADENA, Calif. (NASA PR) — When it’s fully assembled, NASA’s Europa Clipper will be as large as an SUV with solar arrays long enough to span a basketball court – all the better to help power the spacecraft during its journey to Jupiter’s icy moon Europa. And just about every detail of the spacecraft will have been hand-crafted.

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Webb Mirror Alignment Continues Successfully

Artist rending showing light reflecting off of the primary and secondary mirrors of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, after it has deployed in space. (Credits: NASA/Mike McClare)

GREENBELT, Md. (NASA PR) — Webb continues on its path to becoming a focused observatory. The team has successfully worked through the second and third out of seven total phases of mirror alignment. With the completion of these phases, called Segment Alignment and Image Stacking, the team will now begin making smaller adjustments to the positions of Webb’s mirrors.

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NASA Selects Futuristic Space Technology Concepts for Early Study

Credit: NASA

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — An astronaut steps into a body scanner and, hours later, walks on Mars in a custom-made spacesuit, breathing oxygen that was extracted from Mars’ carbon dioxide-rich atmosphere. On Venus, an inflatable bird-like drone swoops through the sky, studying the planet’s atmosphere and weather patterns. Ideas like these are currently science fiction, but they could one day become reality, thanks to a new round of grants awarded by NASA.

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NASA TV to Air NOAA’s GOES-T Launch, Prelaunch Activities

Illustration of the GOES-T spacecraft with Earth’s reflection. (Credits: Lockheed Martin)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA will provide coverage of the prelaunch and launch activities of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) next weather observing and environmental monitoring system satellite. Currently known as GOES-T, this is the third satellite in NOAA’s Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES) – R series.

GOES-T is scheduled to launch at 4:38 p.m. EST Tuesday, March 1, on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 541 rocket from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. There is a two-hour launch window.

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